Laws Of .com

The FTC settles with Fan-Site Creators over Child Data Collection Claims

As creators of fan-pages for such young pop-stars as Justin Bieber (, Selena Gomez ( and Rihanna (, Artist Arena recently came under fire by the United States’ Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) for allegedly contravening the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”).

Pursuant to the COPPA, all websites that request information from minors must have the permission of parents, a privacy policy, and a set of standardized data collection and deletion rules.  In a complaint filed in a New York district court last Tuesday, FTC accused Artist Media, a division of Warner Music Group, of violating the COPPA by failing to obtain parental consent before collecting the names, email addresses and dates of birth of more than 101,000 children aged 12 and under.

Shortly after bringing forth its complaint, however, the FTC has agreed to accept $1 million from Artist Arena to settle the charges.  The independent US government agency is currently in the process of updating COPPA’s rules to place further restrictions on data collection by websites targeted at young audiences.

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